TI's DaVinci Technology Accelerates Development of Digital Video Apps

12/6/2005 - Simplifying digital video innovation, Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) (TI) announced the availability of the first products based on its DaVinciTM technology (announced September 8, 2005). The new products include two digital signal processor- (DSP) based system-on-chips (SoC), multimedia codecs, application programming interfaces (APIs), frameworks and development tools, all are optimized to enable innovation for digital video systems. These integrated components are the industry's first complete offering of an open platform to enable digital video innovation without requiring extensive digital video expertise. With these DaVinci products, adding digital video to an application becomes as simple as writing to an API, saving original equipment manufacturers months of development time and lowering overall system costs.

TI has made this possible by eliminating the complexity of digital video through the integration of hardware and software, allowing developers to build upon existing, production-tested software components optimized for digital video. With the first of many DaVinci products from TI, digital video will be as easy to implement as an off-the-shelf component.

"Texas Instruments' DaVinci technology is very clearly a landmark in consumer electronics," said Chris Crotty, senior consumer electronics analyst, iSuppli Corporation. "We've had an audio revolution; a video revolution is the next step in consumer electronics. It looks like TI is taking care of everything and providing a very complete solution for developers that will enable digital video innovation and the next generation of consumer video devices."

Now Sampling, DaVinci Processors Reduce System Cost
The TMS320DM644x architecture is a highly integrated system-on-chip (SoC) that has absorbed many of the external components required for digital video, dropping hardware bill of materials by as much as 50 percent. Offering up to 1080i MPEG-2 decode and up to 720p MPEG-4 simple profile encode, the DM644x devices are based on TI's performance-leading TMS320C64x+TM DSP core, an ARM926 processor, video accelerators, networking peripherals and external memory/storage interfaces all specifically tuned for video performance. The TMS320DM6443, tuned for video decode applications, provides all of the processing components required to decode digital video, including both analog and digital video output with integrated resizer and on-screen display (OSD) engines. The TMS320DM6446, tuned for video encode and decode applications, adds video encoding capabilities through a dedicated video processing front end capable of capturing various digital video formats.

Software Infrastructure Speeds Time to Market
The complete DaVinci software infrastructure, from low-level OS drivers to application APIs, makes it possible for developers to implement digital video without having to focus resources on writing and optimizing codecs or programming a DSP. Initially, based on the Linux Operating System, APIs mask the complex hardware and software details of implementing codecs from developers, enabling them to interchange multimedia codecs without having to modify application code. Optimized video and audio codecs are also available for free evaluation and licensing from TI to simplify and speed customer design and decision making.

When creating applications, developers are able to write to industry-recognized APIs for storage, networking and video interfaces leveraging standard OS development environments. OEMs are still empowered to access and develop directly on the DSP and ARM should they choose. The result is that developers are able to take advantage of the SoC's performance and focus on developing their own value-added features.

"DaVinci technology gives developers flexible combinations of components to quickly create high-performance and production-tested designs without getting bogged down in the details of video implementation," said Greg Mar, DSP SoC platform manager, TI. "DaVinci technology will be implemented into a wide variety of applications, such as videophones, video security systems, and innovative devices that will take advantage of simplified digital video implementation."

Complete System Tools and Support Enable Implementation
Developers can begin evaluation and implementation of the DM644x devices with the Digital Video Evaluation Module (DVEVM). The DVEVM contains the MontaVista Linux Professional Edition, which allows developers to begin code development immediately. In addition, the DVEVM includes a NTSC/PAL camera, LCD screen, pre-wired video encode and decode codec demos and the ability to create new demos with original video streams. The DVEVM also offers connectivity to video input/outputs, networking interfaces, storage interfaces and standard daughter card connections, so developers can use the DVEVM for their application prototypes. Using the DVEVM, developers can write production-ready application code for the ARM and access the DSP core using DaVinci APIs to begin application development immediately for both the DM6443 and DM6446.

Code Composer StudioTM Integrated Development Environment supporting TMS320DM644x devices is also available now giving design engineers the flexibility to work with the tool chain they are most familiar with. DaVinci products are backed by TI and its third party network that is able to offer video system expertise to customers worldwide.

In addition to TI's DaVinci products and digital signal processors, the company offers a complete portfolio of high-performance analog products for video applications. For example, TI provides high-performance clocking solutions, high-speed video amplifiers and power management products designed for the unique requirements of digital video.

Pricing and Availability
The TMS320DM6443 and TMS320DM6446 are pin-for-pin and software-compatible, as well as being code compatible with previous generations of TMS320DM644x devices and are sampling immediately. The DM6443 is $29.95 and the DM6446 is $34.95, both in quantities of 10KU in 2006. The DVEVM (TMDXEVM6446) is $1995 and available for order entry. For more information, see www.ti.com/thedavincieffectpr.

About Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments Incorporated provides innovative DSP and analog technologies to meet our customers' real-world signal processing requirements. In addition to Semiconductors, the company's businesses include Sensors & Controls, and Educational & Productivity Solutions. TI is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has manufacturing, design or sales operations in more than 25 countries.

Texas Instruments is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TXN.

DaVinci, TMS320C64x+, Code Composer Studio and TMS320C64x are trademarks of Texas Instruments.

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